Handling The Stress Of Being With An Alcoholic

If you’ve been with someone who has a drinking problem for a while, then you know the stress associated with being in a dysfunctional relationship with an alcoholic. You may be feeling lonely, frustrated, hurt, disappointed, depressed or angry and not fully understand why.

In this article, I’m going to share with you some things that can help reduce the stress levels that seem out of control in your life. We are going to look at a few proven methods of coping with an alcoholic that can help you get rid of the knots in your stomach. I wish I could actually tell you how to make the problem drinker in your life quit, but I can’t. However, the tips I share with you will work wonders in your life of applied with persistence.

I hope that you will take the time to click on the links you find throughout this content and educate yourself further about how to better handle this difficult situation you have found yourself in.

Here are a few stress relievers:

1-Get Your Own Life-I don’t mean leave the alcoholic. What I am suggesting is that you make a list of things that you absolutely love to do as an individual and start doing some of those things. It will help you get your mind off of the dysfunctional addict that you have no control over.

2-Get Involved In A Support Group-We always suggest Al-anon here. It is a globally recognized, not for profit organization that has helped millions of people who have alcoholic/addicts in their lives.

3-Exercise-This is a great stress reliever. If you can work on being disciplined enough to not release all of your anger and frustrations out on the alcoholic and go for a walk, swim or jog instead, I think you will find a greater amount of serenity in your life.

4-Talk To Others-Instead of blasting the alcoholic with all of your built-up frustrations, let them out on a really close friend who understands you and will not judge you. The ideal person would be someone who can just be a good listener. If you get involved with a support group, you will begin to meet such people who are willing to take your phone calls just about anytime, day or night.

5-Stop Obsessing About The AlcoholicThe link provided will teach you a few ways to try and calm your mind from thinking about them all of the time.

6-Don’t Stay On The Fence-When we are in a double-minded state it’s difficult to have any peace in our lives. Should I stay or should I go? Do I love the alcoholic or do I hate them? Should I loan them money or not? Do I kick them out of the house or let them stay? Staying in a grey area is never a safe place to be, you just keep turning with turmoil in the rough waters of indecision. The sooner you can make up your mind to love the alcoholic without conditions, the better off your stress levels will be.

7-Stop Snooping Around In Their Stuff-This is something that will just add fuel to the fire of stressors in your brain. When we go through their things we only find partial clues as to what they have been doing. The problem with these little bits is that they cause our minds to race in an attempt to figure out the entire story. This is just insanity at it’s peak and should be avoided at all costs. Don’t look at text messages. Avoid listening to their phone messages. Poking around in their email accounts or phone records is a no, no. Riding by their place of employment to see if they are really working is a form of stalking. If you want to know how to reduce the stress of being with an alcoholic/addict, make a list of all the things you do to check up on them and stop doing those things.

8-Understand You Cannot Control Anyone-We were all given the ability to choose how we want to live our lives. The alcoholic is driven by their addiction and therefore the choices they make are not something we have any control over. Learn how to let go of an alcoholic and you will have less stress in your life.

Many people learn how to cope with an alcoholic and can stay in a relationship with them. Others decide that they have had enough of the insanity that accompanies being in a relationship with an alcoholic and sever all ties. You can greatly reduce the stress that you are under by getting educated from people who understand how to function within these dysfunctional relationships. As I said, if you apply the things I’ve suggested in this article you will find that the stress of being with an addict can be reduced greatly. It is very possible to live with them and love them while enjoying your life without getting all consumed and entangled in their addictive behaviors. Detachment from the alcoholic is the key to finding more peace in your life. So do all that you can to learn how to separate your thoughts from revolving around the addict in your life.

37 comments to Handling The Stress Of Being With An Alcoholic

  • Ben

    Great article!!!! Actually, this is the most helpful article on this site and some of the most helpful information i have been able to find for self help. Bravo!!

  • Riley

    My alcoholic boyfriend of 1 year and 5 months who I absolutely love with all of my heart just left me for alcohol. He only drinks with his friends but they don’t even care about him like I do. They know he’s an alcoholic and encourage it. He lied to me every weekend about what he was doing. He cheated on me twice while he was drunk. His friends encouraged all of it. I feel so betrayed. He refused to blame our relaxation ship problems on the fact that his drinking was the only problem we had. We were happy whenever he wasn’t. Perfectly happy and I worked hard to follow all this advice and he just couldn’t take it anymore. I feel so betrayed and like I’m so much lower than alcohol for him to leave me for it.

  • sandra phillips

    I had no idea that going to their work to make sure they are there was considered stalking.Ive only done that once.Is calling to make sure they are there considered the same?

  • Laura

    OMG Riley, I am going through the exact same thing. You should click on the topic above “Alcoholics Blaming Others for their Problems” (on the right side of this screen at the top) So many good posts to read, and you will definitely not feel alone.

    My Alcoholic Fiance’ and I were together for 2 yrs, and 3 weeks ago he came home drunk on top of a manic bipolar episode and it was the worst ever. The ONLY problem we have had is the fact that he started drinking again about 6 mo. ago (and he needs to be on meds for bipolar). Mine has not cheated…with a “woman” anyway, but to me “alcohol” feels like “the other woman” to me. It is more important than me right now. Nobody can believe I still love him with all of my heart after ALLLL of the things he has said and done to me in the last few months. I even had to call the police Sunday morning and it was SOOOO awful! And guess what…I STILL love him. Sometimes I think I am truly and idiot, but it is what it is right now. He is treating me like I am his enemy now, won’t even “talk” to me, he blames EVERYTHING on me and in his mind I can tell he REALLY believes his delusions. I am trying to be strong, (it’s hard for me, I’m a “cryer” anyway) but I am really having a tough time as you are!! Today I had all of my locks re-keyed, so at least he can’t get in my house anymore. He has never abused me physically, but very verbally abusive when he is drinking and manic! Which to me is even worse….and he kicked a hole in the bathroom door. Prior to his drinking, we were awesome together, had fun, made each other laugh, and truly loved each other, my family loved him….and now he acts like he hates my guts! I am working hard to renew my spirit…which I have allowed him to crush! If you ever need to talk, just let me know…you sound like you are feeling exactly the same as I am! It’s devastating!! Try to stay strong, pray for God to heal him, and hang in there. I will keep you in my prayers and pray he will realize what he is doing! Hugs!



  • sandra phillips

    Riley, sweetie I understand how you must feel.I dated a drinker for 6 months who I drove around.one weekend when he was gone helping a friend he said he thought he might have slept with someone and my thought was you did or you didn’t and you aren’t even sure? I quit him only to get a barrage of phone calls begging me Back.He mentioned marriage but had 5 kids from a previous marriage that he did not support.He cussed me out in phone messages when I was at work and we too got on much better when he didn’t drink but that wasn’t often enough and I had no long term intentions with him and felt lucky I could leave when he got ugly.

  • Faustina

    Dear Riley: I can relate so much to what you’re going through. The one thing I can tell you is to get involved with a support group ASAP. Al-Anon has a wonderful program. If you are planning on staying in this relationship, you better start getting now in a support group. Trust me, if not for Al-Anon I know many woman including myself that would be insane by now. From what I read in your posting, I want to encourage you to read up on expectations. I learned at Al-Anon that for the most part, it’s not really my husband who lets me down, it’s my expectations of him. Your situation is different from mine. We are both in our 50’s and have no children since we married later in life. I am his third wife. He is a dry-drunk so the alcoholic behaviors are ALWAYS there. You should take a long hard look to see why you are willing to stay in a relationship wherein you are less important and a bottle of liquor. Again, this is about expectations. Maybe one day he will come to terms with his disease and make proper changes; however, this does not appear to be the case any time soon. You will have a lot of suffering ahead for you until he does and we are talking years and years. I don’t know how old you are, but every year you spend with him that is his not trying to change, is a year from your life thrown away. This life that you are living now is not a dress rehearsal. This is your life. The only life you are going to live. Every day, week, month and year you throw away never comes back. Also, have you done some introspection and looked at your self-esteem? How are you in this department? Why do you think you don’t deserve better? Take care – get some help because you’re in for quite a journey. GET SOME SUPPORT!

  • John

    Sandra, what a story. He actually said he might have slept with someone…

    You know this whole cheating thing is something that would bring too much stress into any relationship. There are plenty of men and women in this world who will be faithful in a relationship… I think?

    It’s bad enough that alcoholics are more committed to their drinking habit than to those who are dedicated to them, but when infidelity is no secret, I couldn’t live with that kind of stress every day.

    When I’m in a relationship, I want the lady to be dedicated to me alone even if she is addicted to alcohol. I’ve met plenty of alcoholics who have morals enough to not destroy a relationship by being unfaithful.

    Wow, I think one of my buttons just got pushed. Unacceptable behavior is NOT something we have to accept.

  • sandra phillips

    JOHN, THAnk you for affirming that not all alcoholics cheat.ALTHOUGH I’m married to an alcoholic who has been in recovery 7 years I was reading stories and thinking they all did that.

  • Karyn

    Butch up, get some self-esteem!!!
    Read “toxic men”
    Don’t waste your Life on this loser!
    What if u get pregnant huh?
    Cmon, snap out of it mate and get your head sorted out
    All the love
    Best of luck to you x

  • clare

    After two relationships with men with addiction problems, I’ve finally learned a big life lesson….if you meet a man with a serious problem like addiction…..RUN LIKE HELL….because you can’t change them….men are not fixable! We think we can love them enough to change them but we can’t. Only God can change them. We can pray for them but that’s all we can do. The most loving thing you can do is give them the space to figure it out themselves. If we try to interfere, in there eyes, we only become the enemy, and then the abuse begins.

    The only person we can change is ourselves.

  • Dawn

    Riley, you are not lower than alcohol and don’t ever feel that way. His disease is overwhelming and somewhere inside him he knew that you were out of his league and better than he deserved, which no doubt “drove” him to drink. He will blame your kindness and love for making him a drunk. Take care of yourself, believe in yourself and know (with all your heart) that you are a better option than alcohol any day! Don’t let this guy drag you down, there’s a man out there that will cherish everything about you and will never even have to choose between something as stupid as alcohol or you – he will choose you everytime! Hang in there Kiddo!

  • Kellon

    My life is filled with so much stress right now. The girl I’ve been dating for the past four months all the sudden started spending a lot of time down the street from her house. Apparently the guy who lives a few houses down has plenty of prescription pills, pot… and likes to drink a lot. They get all hyped up on whatever, add some alcohol in the mix and sometimes party almost all night. She invited me over there a couple of times and it’s very apparent that this guy has the hots for my girlfriend. When I said something to her, she got mad and told me the guy was a lot older than her and she sees him as being like a father. I don’t want this sort of stress in my life. I don’t trust him and I’m losing trust in her quickly. She doesn’t spend time alone with him, usually there are other people partying. She tells me that I’m being ridiculous and that she is committed to me. My heart wants to believe her and my head is telling me this isn’t right.

  • Sandy

    Riley – you are not lower than alcohol, your ABF has a disease that you cannot compete with – it will win over you everytime until he is ready to get well; and you can’t make him get well, only he can make that choice. I was where you were at 7 years ago when it was the end of a sexually abusive relationship with an alcoholic, he was everything I wanted when he wasn’t drunk, and regardless of the abuse, he will no doubt always be the love of my life . . . but I finally put my foot down on the sexual abuse that occured when he was drunk, and he walked away from me . . I was devastated . . for a year I sat and moped and hoped he’d wake up and come back to me then he married someone else and got sober; it’s funny how things work out . . but here I am in another marriage with an abusive alcoholic, I sent him to jail and he got sober – but I still live one day at a time because he could relapse at the blink of an eye. I feel you need to just try and let go of him and le thim face the consequences of his actions; right now he will only take you down the black hole with him . . and if you go with him . . it will enable him to not have to look at himself . . there are no guarantees this man will wake up . . but with you continuing to hang on; it almost certainly will not happen. Quit focusing on him, get to Al-Anon and focus on YOU and getting you better . . TAKE CARE OF YOU!!! God bless . .

  • Faustina

    Seems to me that you’ve gotten plenty of advice, suggestions and recommendations on what you need to do. It doesn’t get any better, hun. Wishful thinking will not make it go away. If you have a hard time leaving him, you may get a few friends that you can confide in who will hold you accountable and help you. Why don’t you download the words to the song by Paul Simon: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Gooduck!

  • Therese

    I was just wondering how one gets through a vacation with an alcoholic. When my hubby gets nasty and becomes verbally abusive and we’re home, I can do one of several things to remove myself from the situation. Hec, I can get in the car and go to the movies alone for some peace and quiet. We have been together for seven years. I have never had a carefree and enjoyable vacation since. He doesn’t necessarily like to be around many people or strangers for that matter. His energy level is horrid and needs to take a nap every afternoon or else he turns into a Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde! We recently went to Las Vegas and I had the most horrible time. He wanted to control what we did every day. We could only see the shows he wanted, and eat only where he wanted. Finally, I put my foot down and told him he could go see any show he wanted and that I was going to see a show that I really wanted to see. Boy did I pay for it the next day. He began his 2 hour litany of abusive names and insults. I felt I was being shot at with a riffle they were coming at me so quickly. I grabbed my purse and left the room spent the whole day alone. Every time we go anywhere, the same thing happens. I could relate to the woman who wrote a couple weeks ago about how she was abused on her own honeymoon. I went through the same thing. He complained about everything. I remember being completely tense the whole time. There was nothing even remotely relaxing about our honeymoon. I wanted to jump a plane and come back home. What do others go through when they go on vacation with an alcoholic? I hate the thought of having to take vacations alone. Instead of coming back to work nice and relaxed from vacation, I get back and I am always SO stressed. Fortunately, my hubby is sober, but certainly his alcoholic characteristics are always there and somehow always manages to them in his suitcase when we vacation together! HELP!

  • JoJo

    Hi Riley! Please believe that you, yourself are a wonderful person and absolutely nothing less..okay! Now as far as your boyfriend, his drinking goes much deeper than what you think, and it was there from the very beginning, regardless of how well behaved he was when you first got together. Sometimes Riley, we chose not to actually see the real truth about a person because of the love we have for them at the beginning as well. I say this from experience sweet heart, and not at all to place ANY blame. Love is a very powerful emotion and we can not help who we fall for, but we can help not allowing ourselves to settle for second best! You deserve much better than that, and I am here to tell you that trying to deal with all the stress and heartache that accompanies trying to love an alcoholic is really not worth it when there are plenty of non-drinking nice men out there. So please don,t feel bad because of the outcome of your broken relationship. Instead, chalk it up as a lesson learned, and move on with you your life, full speed ahead girl! You have so much going for you now!!

  • Karen

    I am so tired of the mass confusion and being in a state of indecision with my AB.
    I do not want to PLAY the….which personality are you today game
    ….the “you are lying” game
    ….the name calling game
    ….the “I do not remember” game
    ….the “moody” game
    ….the “paranoid” game
    ….the “accusation” game
    ….the “you are worthless” game
    The “price is not worth it”.
    I have severed the ties with him and the peace and quiet is great.

  • JC

    Karen, I understand your pain and frustration all to well. Some time away to work on yourself sounds like a good idea. It gets really stressful when we have to be on guard all the time when we are around the alcoholic. As you have so clearly mentioned, there are so many different moods the alcoholic dances in. The good thing is that you can choose not to dance with them.

    Karen, thanks for being a faithful participant here. You’ve helped many people all over the world with the things you’ve shared. Take care of yourself, you are worth it! Protect your serenity at all costs today.

  • Sandy

    Amen Karen . . I had a day from hell yesterday with my sober AH . . he fell back into his old behavior and luckily never really hurt me but he almost went back to jail . . he was drinking O’Douls again and not eating and it hit him like a ton of bricks . . today he’s humble and kissing my ass, he knows he nearly blew it yesterday . . and he went through every behavior you named Karen . . EVERY LAST one . . and of course the whole flippen’ thing was my fault even though he was a raging bull . . I’m about done . . sober or not . . I don’t need this crap, I don’t deserve it and I don’t have to take it . . 2013 may see me as a single woman again . . and this time I will stay single!!!

  • Sally

    Friends, it has been almost 11 months since I packed my things and moved out of the drunk’s world. I have had good days, bad days and just awful days, but I survived every one with no contact with the drunk who is my ex- fiance. I’ve managed to un-do much of the fiscal damage I did to myself while with him, repair much of the physical damage done to my home in the 5 years I was away living in his house with him, but most important – I’ve forgiven myself for my stupidity in becoming involved with him in the first place. Like Karen and Sandy and all the rest of you, my soul simply came to the place and time where I could not and would not tolerate one more episode of name-calling, blaming, hatefulness, evil temper, ruined holidays and all the rest. Leaving was the best decision I could have possibly made, and I am the better for it. The peace I have every minute of every day cannot be described, but I know I would never trade it for any person’s company on this earth. Stay strong and walk away, because there is nothing but hell on earth to be had living with a drunk. I wish you all peace and quiet joy.

  • Sandy

    Good for you Sally – I’m actually extremely jealous that you were able to get away . . this week has been a week of hell on earth with my AH, he has not been drinking but all the old alcoholic behavior has surfaced for some reason in the dry drunk area . . he even through me across the bedroom the other night and he hadn’t touched me in the 6 months since he’s quit drinking until then . . my Mom who lives with us almost put him back in jail but he finally backed off . . I’ve had it . . sober or not he’s a monster in so many ways . . I told him that the other night; he’s been drinking since he was 14 and has never grown up . . and he has an anger mean side that has to be from hell . . he is so Jekyl and Hyde . . my body is giving out from all the stress of dealing with him and the other problems in my life . . I’m taking it one day at a time; but I’m hoping to get the $$ together to get away from him the first of the year . . I’ll have to have the police come when I move out otherwise I feel he’ll kill me before he lets me leave . . and I’ve reached a point of zero tolerance and can’t control my reactions to him . . I seriously thought I might kill him in his sleep the other night and that . . scared the hell out of me . . this is no life . .

  • Sally

    Sandy, you hang tough and don’t let him win by dragging you down to his level. Drunks try to do that as hard as they know how as often as they can, which with them is just about any time they’re awake. It’s honestly true what my child told me years ago – a drunk can’t lie. Who they really are and what they really feel are unleashed when they drink. You see the true heart and soul of a drunk when they’re drunk. Yes, Sandy, you’ll need the police there when you get your things and your mom and get out of there, but it will be so good in so many ways to have them there. You need to disengage in a big way. Do not let him get to you. You know he knows how, so disconnect the buttons he pushes and don’t give in, but don’t get down in the gutter with him, either. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Check in often. Save your precious energy and don’t wrangle with him. Your life force was created for something better. Wishing you all the best, and, definitely, peace.

  • Debbi

    Sally–You have inspired me so many ways & I’m cheering you on & jumping up & down for you right now. I am 3 months out of divorce & 2 months from when he moved out. I still suffer from extreme depression & financial difficulties but some of your responses to my posts have kept me going.

    I hope to inspire you to keep moving forward just as you inspired me so much!

  • Sarah

    Kellon — I am sorry that you are going through that. Your girlfriend is not respecting your relationship right now, whether or not she is cheating. I have come to believe that in a healthy relationship, partners don’t engage in behaviors or situations that would led their loved one to feel insecure and uncomfortable. Partying all night with other men is one of those situations, whether or not cheating is involved. I have been with my alcoholic for three years and like they warned Riley above, I got pregnant a month into the relationship. I have been trying to find my ground ever since, and find my boundaries. I am still with him despite the binges and abuse and anger. I have come to the place where my peace is more important than the love or fear of losing him to someone else. I don’t like the roller coaster and would rather have the certainty of my own life on my own terms, then the uncertainty of being with someone who drinks (are they coming home, are they cheating, will they drink). Mine is staying sober for now, but I am at the point where I am ready to dismiss the drama. I would never treat him as he treats me with staying out all night, spending the family money, flirting on the internet, and I am tired of the inequality of it, even if he hasn’t technically “cheated” his past behaviors have led me to be unsure and suspicious. That in and of itself is not right. Good luck to you. I could easily tell all of us still involved to move on and choose peace over pain, but I know it is much easier said than done.

  • Sally

    Debbi, thank you for the sunshiny thoughts! I will be the first to admit it – I am still not back to the person I was before I allowed myself to get sucked into the miserable existence that passes for life in a drunk’s world. But, I’m ever so slowly getting there, back to the person I used to be, who was always positive and energetic and up doing things. Shaking off the black cloud that settles over life when living with a drunk has been so much harder than I imagined, but I’m beginning to finally get back to who I used to be – older but oh, so much wiser. I’m sure the time will come when I’ll be able to face the loss of the 5 years of my life I spent with the drunk, mourn them and move on. At present, I do my best not to think on them, though they’re always in the back of my mind. Time really does heal all, but they forgot to tell that it takes a lot of work to help it along. I’m back to being the girl who loves life and all the challenges that come with it. Blessedly, I believe I’ve learned how not to make my own life more complicated than it needs to be. No more feeling the need to rescue anyone other than me. All of the people in my life are adults, and I’m holding the line on doing anything for them other than listening to them – and that for only a set amount of time. After that, I’ve got to go – there are errands to run and projects around the house I need to get to. I’ve learned the most important thing of all – how to say NO, not feel guilty about saying it and not letting it bother me if someone else doesn’t like it. All in all, I feel better than I have in years, and I know as time goes by I’ll feel even better, Y’all have a great, peaceful weekend and whatever you do, do it because you choose to, not because you feel you have to. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Kellon

    Sarah, thanks for sharing. I like how you said; “to feel insecure and uncomfortable.” That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling. She hasn’t been doing much partying lately. She has been very busy with work, a functioning addict. I am still on the fence. Things seem to be going OK right now and I feel more “secure” in the relationship. I’ve started keeping a journal as has been suggested on this website. I am getting closer to jumping off of the fence and running as far from her as possible. As I write every day, I am noticing that I really don’t trust her and my thoughts of here are accompanied by stress. I am sad that the relationship is going in this direction. When she isn’t drinking or on some medication there’s a very nice and charming lady in there.

  • Karen

    Hey friends,I just need some encouragement today. I am feeling a little low today. Why do things feelings of low self esteem creep in. I know that my life will be so much better without the AB in my life. I do not have to listen to the verbal abuse and all the “conspiracy therories” that he manages to think up. I was so good to him and he treated me like a low life. Now with the holidays approaching I am feeling sad. I returned the xmas gifts that I had already purchased for him over this past weekend and that did feel good and have the extra $$ in my pocket. can he ever treat anyone good?? I have made a promise to myself that I will have no conversation with him,yet I check my phone to see if has called…whats up with that. No more moody behaviours to contend with or the “who” are you today games. I am doing my best to stay busy. Any other suggestions would help. Distessed in Windsor,Ont. canada

  • JC

    Karen, sorry to hear you are having a tough morning. When I am in uncertainty things are harder on my emotions.

    One of the things I thought of as I read your post was expressing unconditional love to an alcoholic. I believe that gift giving is a very powerful love language. If I am certain I want to be with the alcoholic, then I strive to let my expressions of love flow without conditions.

    If I am certain I want the relationship to be over, then I express to the addict, “I love you very much, but cannot have an intimate relationship with you…I think we need to not have any connection with each other for a while…”

    When I am on the fence of indecision as to whether I want to be with the alcoholic or not, I get tossed about with every change of mood the alcoholic has.

    Do you want to be with him? If so, forgive him and start your day over.
    Do you wan to end the relationship, then take the necessary steps to do so.
    If you are uncertain, let go of the insanity, detach and enjoy your day. Life’s too short to let an alcoholic steal your joy. Making a decision to not make a decision right now is OK too.

    Have a nice day no matter what!

  • Sarah

    Karen, I go through this about once a month or so with my AB. He drinks. I enforce my boundaries and force him to move out. He binges for a week, while I work full time and single parent our two-year-old. I get overwhelmed and feel low and wish I could use “alcohol” to dull the stress in my life and give me an inflated self esteem for the moment. But, I don’t really wish that. It gets easier each time, and after I let him back, I miss the peace and predictability that life offers versus the chaos or near-chaos of the other. I too check my phone. I get a panic attack once he starts calling, but if he doesn’t I feel forgotten and unimportant. Sometimes I think of it like my emotions and mind “detoxing” from the relationship. The depression and low self-esteem are like an emotional hangover. Just be patient and kind to yourself and know that your body is healing. JCs points are wise, but in this early stage it is much easier said than done, to detach etc. It is a new habit that will get stronger with practice. And be kind to yourself for “slips” (checking the phone, missing him), they are natural.

  • Sally

    Karen, be kind to youself and know that it will take time to mentally let go of the dream you had of a life with your AB. It takes a while to re-program your brain to not keep using precious energy and time thinking about the “what-ifs” and the “if onlys” that run around in our heads like hamsters on a wheel. Accepting that a dream won’t come true is like a death, and the dream has to be grieved like any other loss. But you can get through this and if you stay strong, you’ll discover that you can fill your life with other, better, more worthwhile things to do and think than what you settled for with your drunk. Accept that you’ll cry and get mad and get sad and generally want to bonk your AB on the head for screwing everything up. It’s not a great feeling when it happens, but it’s real, and it’s human, and it passes in time. I understand how you feel. It’s a slow business getting them out of our heads, but it’s doable. Keeping busy with something really physical that takes concentration and a lot of energy helps me a lot. By the time I’m finished, I’m usually too tired to think on my ex- drunk for more than a second. You’re in my thoughts. Remember that when you’re feeling not so strong. I’m in your corner, so be tough. It’s worth the effort.

  • JC

    Sally, I love what you said; “be kind to yourself.” Sometimes I think; “JC be nice to yourself, you’ve been through a lot lately.” It really helps relieve the stress of life when I am kind to myself.

  • JoJo

    Hi Karen! No matter how you are feeling right now, or how bad the AB in your life TRIES to make you feel, know that you are a strong, resourceful and important person, and everything will work out just fine for you. I understand all too well how the AB walks on your emotions which can lead to low self-esteem, low confidence etc… It seems as though they go out of their way to try and make us feel some how like we are responsible for their crazy behavior and sickness, and I believe they only do that to mask their own failures and dysfunctions. I also strongly agree with Sally to be kind to yourself, and think more of how you want your own life to be like. There is way more living and enjoying life for you to be doing, and not wasting your time trying to figure out what the AB in your life is going to do. Detachment is necessary, but that too takes some time along with some emotional strength, so take your time and don’t force yourself which will only make you feel worse. Listen very closely to your heart of hearts as to whether you stay, or leave the situation and stand strong in your decision and follow through. Only you and you alone knows the answer to that. But know that my prayers are with you, and so is God Karen! So you cheer up, and keep on keepin on no matter what because the best is yet to come for you!!!

  • Karen

    Thank you,thank you,and thank you again for each of you that reached out for me today. All of your words of encouragement,heartfelt sharing of your feelings was very powerful to me today. I am going to read these responses everyday for sure and more often if necessary. I am taking one day at a time and I know the days will turn into weeks and the weeks will turn into months and time goes on and I will heal. I have so much to be thankful for and happy in my life like I was before I met the AB. I have only known him for 8 months and what a roller coaster ride it was.
    I just will not do this anymore.
    Life is too short and I have one to live.
    I have a purpose in my day,everyday and he does not.
    So I am important.
    Thankyou again for your words,especially yours JC.

  • Debbi


    Be glad it was only 8 months out of your life–you will get over this. I have 20 years to get over and I still find myself doing all the same things as you. Re-train your brain. Here’s one suggestion to get you started:

    Remember that when you don’t answer his calls you are adhering to your boundary of NO CONTACT. It is driving him crazy whether you see the reaction or not. So every time you go to look to see if he called, stop yourself, put a smile on your face & say to yourself–this is driving him more crazy then it is me!

    I too am still crying and full of depression but I just keep reminding myself “he’s not having a picnic either” even though I don’t see the reaction.

    Stay tough with me & let’s do this!

  • Karen

    Hi Debbi,
    Thanks for your encouraging words today.
    We have not tried to contact each other at all for a couple of weeks now. So,we are probably both going crazy. Not me so much, he is crazy anyway. My crazy is a good one though as it is helping me get thru the day just thinking that I was crazy to go on as long as I did.
    I do feel concerned for him though,but this is his battle not mine. I have to focus on geeting myself back in order.
    You stay strong also and WE will get thru this.
    You are in my prayers also.

  • cina

    i have been following this for A WHILE AND IT BEEN GREAT can relate to so many stories but with xmas coming it hard. recently my aa husband went wild tried to bash me with a toaster, when i called police and had him removed. he and his family blamed me hence he started sleeping with someone else that night and she gave him a free ticket to bali which of course he took only to return leave her and want to come home as i have two small boy i tried it lasted two months this weekend he went missing again drunk the police have been looking for him and his work place,best part his family blame me so they have turned there back leaving me and boys allowen. what i have learnt is no matter how much you love and try the lies and cheating never stop i have been with him for 15 years through job after job due to his drinking always picking up the pieces for him wondering when do you say anough and how do you walk when it all you have in the world for your kids a drunk daddy.he a very good man when he is sober, i understand he has asulted his brothers girl friend that why police looking for him.

  • a

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

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